Two-time Shepparton United premiership captain Tyson Sidebottom is Shepparton Swans’ latest blockbuster signing as they take aim at finals next year.By Marc McGowan
Two-time Shepparton United premiership captain Tyson Sidebottom is Shepparton Swans’ latest blockbuster signing as they take aim at finals next year.
Sidebottom stunned the Goulburn Valley football world on Friday night, when he signed with the Swans, who have won a combined six games the past two years.
He played for Murray Football League team Congupna this past season.
Sidebottom is the second major signing at the Goulburn Valley Football League club this off-season, behind St Joseph’s defender Dan Lovick, who won Geelong Football League’s past two Mathieson medals.
New Swans playing assistant coach Hayden Best orchestrated the recruitment of both, as Lovick’s brother-in-law and Sidebottom’s good friend and ex-Tallygaroopna teammate.
Shepparton East premiership forward Rob Osborne and Queanbeyan duo Daniel Campbell and Alex Overs have also joined the Swans.
Swans coach Brett Warburton said it was an exciting time for his club.
‘‘The fact we have a very good, young list — all committed to the club — was a point Dan and Tyson were very impressed with,’’ Warburton said.
‘‘These guys here are going to leave a legacy at our club for a long time. We’re coming from a long way back, but the guys we’ve recruited all bring experience and leadership.
‘‘We know there are other young lists out there in the Goulburn Valley, but when you talk about the young list with the least experience, it is us.’’
Sidebottom did not want to speak to The News about his decision to join the Swans, a year after fellow United premiership player Lewis O’Sullivan also switched to Princess Park.
‘‘Tyson just wants to get on with it and focus on the Shepp Swans and that’s who he is,’’ Warburton said.
‘‘He’s not up for too much talk. His talk will be done out on the ground. It doesn’t worry him (what other people think). He’s fully focused on the Shepp Swans.
‘‘We can’t control what people will say out there in the media or the public. We can only control the controllables and focus on the 2013 season.’’
Warburton said Jessie Finnen and Josh Wellington would retain the captaincy and vice-captaincy, respectively, despite Sidebottom’s presence.
He said the Swans’ young players would have to work ‘‘even harder’’ and could not expect to make finals just because of the top-line off-season additions.
Warburton can relate to Sidebottom’s playing decision, having won a premiership at Tatura before joining close friend Paul Hawke at the Swans for the 2000 season.
He spent a year playing cricket in England between playing for the Bulldogs and Swans.
Warburton said he had ‘‘not one problem’’ with his former Tatura clubmates.
‘‘It’s on your mind, in the build up in the week prior to the game,’’ Warburton said about a player facing his old side.
‘‘I was a Tat boy and made the move and came across with Paul Hawke and it was a big deal, but you just bounce the ball and get on with it. I’m not going to buy into it.
‘‘If people want to say things they can .
‘‘I’ll be making sure not one Shepp Swans person gets involved in any derogatory remarks or anything like that.’’
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